Miss World 2002

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Miss World 2002
Miss World 2002 titleholder – Azra Akın
Date7 December 2002
VenueAlexandra Palace, London, United Kingdom
WinnerAzra Akın[2]
← 2001
2003 →

Miss World 2002, the 52nd edition of the Miss World pageant, was held on 7 December 2002 at the Alexandra Palace in London, United Kingdom. It was initially intended to be staged in Abuja, but due to religious riots in the nearby city of Kaduna (the "Miss World riots") the pageant was relocated to London.

A total of 110 contestants from all over the world were initially invited to compete for the crown, but several contestants boycotted the pageant and others dropping out in protest for the death sentence by stoning determined by an Islamic Sharia court to Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman accused of adultery, making a total of 88 girls competing for the crown. It was the first time that audience participation through text messaging together with the scores of the judges helped in determining the results for the Top 20.[3] Azra Akın from Turkey won the pageant,[2] becoming the first ever representative from her country to be crowned Miss World. She was crowned by Agbani Darego of Nigeria. Show organizers stated that the event had a global viewership of over 2 billion people, and that it was broadcast in 137 countries.[2] It was the first time in 51 years that it was not shown in the UK;[4] no British channel agreed to broadcast the event.[2][5]



Placement[6] Contestant
Miss World 2002
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
Top 10
Top 20

Continental Queens of Beauty

Continental Group Contestant
Asia & Oceania
  •  Aruba – Rachelle Oduber


Countries and territories which sent delegates and results[2][3]

88 contestants participated in Miss World 2002.[3]

Country Contestant Age Hometown
 Albania Anjeza Maja 21
 Algeria Lamia Saoudi 22 Algiers
 American Virgin Islands Hailey Cagan 17 Saint John
 Angola Rosa Mujinga Muxito 21 Luanda
 Antigua and Barbuda Zara Razzaq 19 Saint John's
 Argentina Tamara Henriksen 25 Buenos Aires
 Aruba Rachelle Oduber 21 Oranjestad
 Australia Nicole Ghazal 23 Gold Coast
 Bahamas T’Shura Ambrose 25 Nassau
 Barbados Natalie Webb-Howell 20 Bridgetown
 Belgium Sylvie Doclot 22 Brussels
 Belize Karen Russell 24 Belize City
 Bolivia Alejandra Montero 17 Iténez
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Danijela Vinš 17 Sarajevo
 Botswana Lomaswati Dlamini 20 Gaborone
 Brazil Taísa Thomsen 20 Joinville
 Bulgaria Desislava Guleva 18 Pleven
 Canada Lynsey Bennett 22 Ottawa
 Chile Daniela Casanova 22 Valparaiso
 China Wu Ying Na 17 Hainan
 Colombia Natalia Peralta 21 Antioquia
 Croatia Nina Slamić 18 Šibenik
 Curaçao Ayannette Statia 19 Willemstad
 Cyprus Anjela Drousiotou 21 Nicosia
 Czech Republic Kateřina Smržová 23 Prague
 Ecuador Jessica Angulo 20 Santo Domingo
 England Danielle Luan 22 Oxford
 Estonia Triin Sommer 19 Pärnu
 Finland Hanne Hynynen 21 Ylivieska
 France Caroline Chamorand 21 Paris
 Germany Indira Selmic 24 Berlin
 Ghana Shaida Buari 20 Accra
 Gibraltar Damaris Hollands 21 Gibraltar
 Greece Katerina Georgiadou 21 Athens
 Guyana Odessa Phillips 19 Vergenoegen
 Holland Elise Boulogne 20 Leiden
 Hong Kong Victoria Jolly 20 Hong Kong
 Hungary Renata Rozs 21 Janossomorja
 India Shruti Sharma 22 New Delhi
 Ireland Lynda Duffy[7] 22 Galway
 Israel Karol Lowenstein 19 Haifa
 Italy Susanne Zuber 21 Merano
 Jamaica Danielle O'Hayon 18 Kingston
 Japan Yuko Nabeta 19 Tokyo
 Kazakhstan Olga Sidorenko 19 Almaty
 Kenya Marianne Kariuki[8] 18 Nairobi
 Latvia Baiba Svarca 20 Riga
 Lebanon Bethany Kehdy 21 Beirut
 Lithuania Oksana Semenišina[9] 20 Vilnius
 Macedonia Jasna Spasovska 20 Skopje
 Malaysia Mabel Ng Chin Mei 24 Pulau Tikus
 Malta Joyce Gatt[10] 18 Balzan
 Mexico Blanca Zumárraga 20 Córdoba
 Namibia Ndapewa Alfons 23 Kaisosi
 New Zealand Rachel Huljich 18 Auckland
 Nicaragua Hazel Calderón 25 León
 Nigeria Chinenye Ochuba 18 Lagos
 Northern Ireland Gayle Williamson[11] 22 Dollingstown
 Norway Kathrine Sørland[12] 21 Sola
 Panama Yoselin Sánchez 21 Los Santos
 Peru Marina Mora 22 Lima
 Philippines Katherine Anne Manalo 23 Parañaque
 Poland Marta Matyjasik 20 Zgorzelec
 Puerto Rico Cassandra Polo Berrios 18 Guaynabo
 Romania Cleopatra Popescu 23 Sibiu
 Russia Anna Tatarintseva 24 Nizhny Novgorod
 Scotland Paula Murphy 24 Stirling
 Singapore Sharon Cintamani 23 Singapore
 Slovakia Eva Veresova 22 Nitra
 Slovenia Nataša Krajnc 21 Celje
 South Africa Claire Sabbagha[13] 25 Johannesburg
 Spain Lola Alcocer 21 Seville
 Swaziland Nozipho Shabangu 20 Mbabane
 Sweden Sophia Hedmark[14] 20 Stockholm
 Tahiti Rava Maiarii 19 Taha'a
 Tanzania Angela Damas Mtalima 20 Dar es Salaam
 Thailand Ticha Lueng-Pairoj 21 Nakhon Pathom
 Trinidad and Tobago Janelle Rajnauth 21 Port of Spain
 Turkey Azra Akın 20 Istanbul
 Uganda Rehema Nakuya[15] 20 Mbarara
 Ukraine Irina Udovenko 21 Azov
 United States Rebekah Revels[16] 22 St. Pauls
 Uruguay Natalia Figueras 21 Montevideo
 Venezuela Goizeder Azúa 18 San Felipe
 Vietnam Phạm Thị Mai Phương 17 Hải Phòng
 Wales Michelle Bush 22 Cardiff
 Yugoslavia Ana Šargić 19 Valjevo
 Zimbabwe Linda Van Beek 20 Harare



  • Last competed in 2001:

Withdrawals during the contest

Withdrawals, but later re-incorporated into the contest after moved to London

Boycotting due to Amina Lawal case

Also boycotting but never invited:

Misc. Withdrawals and initial boycotts, but re-incorporated into the contest later on

  •  England - Danielle Luan went home after the contest moved to London with no intentions of rejoining but was later convinced to rejoin the competition under the condition that she was to not be officially judged in the pageant during finals night.
  •  Norway - Katrine Sørland initially boycotted due to the Amina Lawal case but later rejoined after being promised by Julia Morley, the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and the Nigerian Foreign Ministry that Lawal wouldn't be stoned to death.

Invited but never confirmed


  •  American Virgin Islands – Cubie-Ayah George
  •  Argentina – Daniela Estefania Puig
  •  Bulgaria – The winner of Miss Bulgaria 2002, Teodora Burgazlieva was replaced by her 2nd Runner up - Desislava Guleva because she did some nude pictures for Club M magazine before winning the Miss Bulgaria 2002 crown.[18]
  •  Belgium – Miss Belgium 2002, Ann Van Elsen refused to participate in protest of the conviction of Amina Lawal.
  •  Czech Republic – The winner of Miss České republiky 2002, Kateřina Průšová didn't compete internationally due to her poor English skills.[19]
  •  Germany – The winner of Miss Germany Wahl 2002, Katrin Wrobel had to relinquish the crown due to the fact that she wanted to focus on her modeling career.[20] However her 1st runner up, Simone Wolf-Reinfurt got sick just days before her departure to Nigeria and was replaced by the 2nd runner up of Miss Germany Wahl 2002, Indira Selmic.
  •  France – Miss France 2002, Sylvie Tellier refused to participate in protest of the conviction of Amina Lawal.
  •  Iceland – The winner of Ungfrú Ísland.is 2002, Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir was dethroned following her nude photos in Playboy magazine. But none of her runners-up accepted the crown for different reasons and disagreements over the winner's contract. Then the organizers picked Eyrun Steinsson as the Icelandic representative for Miss World 2002, but she later decided to boycott the contest.[21][22]
  •  Italy – The winner of Miss Mondo Italia 2002, Pamela Camassa resigned her crown because she wanted a normal life. Her 1st runner up, Susanne Zuber took her duties.[23]
  •  South Africa – Miss South Africa 2002 & 3rd runner up of Miss Universe 2002, Vanessa Carreira was unable to go to Miss World 2002 as the Miss South Africa 2003 contest was 1 day after the Miss World 2002 contest and she had to crown her successor. Also she refused to participate in protest of the conviction of Amina Lawal. Another South African pageant organization - Miss Junior South Africa, sent their 2002 winner - Karen Lourens. However MWO accepted the first runner up of Miss SA 2002, Claire Sabbagha to participate in Miss World 2002 despite being overage.[24]
  •  Ukraine – The winner of Miss Ukraine 2002, Olena Stohniy couldn't participate due to the fact that she was overage for Miss World rules, she was just 25 years old.[25] She was replaced by one of her runners-up - Iryna Udovenko.[26]

Historical significance

In the year leading up the finals in Nigeria, several European title holders lobbied their governments and the EU parliament to support Amina's cause.[27][28] A number of contestants followed the lead of Kathrine Sørland of Norway in boycotting the contest (despite the controversy Sørland went on to become a semi-finalist in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contest), while others such as Costa Rica were instructed by their national governments and parliaments not to attend the contest. Among the other boycotting nations were Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Panama, Belgium and Kenya. There was further controversy over the possibly suspended participation of France and South Africa, which may or may not have been due to the boycott.[29] For her part, Lawal asked that contestants not suspend their participation in the contest, saying that it was for the good of her country and that they could, as the representative of Sweden had earlier remarked, make a much stronger case for her on the ground in Nigeria.[30]

Despite the increasing international profile the boycott was garnering in the world press, the contest went ahead in Nigeria after being rescheduled to avoid taking place during Ramadan, with many prominent nations sending delegates. Osmel Sousa of Venezuela, one of the world's most influential national directors, famously said "there is no question about it (the participation of Miss Venezuela in the contest)." The trouble did not end there, however. A Thisday (Lagos, Nigeria) newspaper editorial suggesting that Muhammad would probably have chosen one of his wives from among the contestants had he been alive to see it, resulted in inter-religious riots that started on 22 November in which over 200 people were killed in the city of Kaduna, along with many houses of worship being burned by religious zealots.[31] Because of these "Miss World riots", the 2002 pageant was moved to London, following widely circulated reports that the representatives of Canada and Korea had withdrawn from the contest and returned to their respective countries out of safety concerns. A fatwa urging the beheading of the woman who wrote the offending words, Isioma Daniel, was issued in Nigeria, but was declared null and void by the relevant Saudi Arabian authorities.[32][33][34][35] Upon the pageant's return to England, many of the boycotting contestants chose to attend, including Miss Norway, Kathrine Sørland, who was tipped in the last few days as the number one favourite for the crown she had previously boycotted.[36][37][38][39][40]


  1. ^ "The Tuscaloosa News". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Daily News". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Philippine Daily Inquirer". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
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  5. ^ Freeman, Hadley (7 December 2002). "Dogged by criticism and ridicule, the Miss World pageant continues". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  6. ^ "In pictures: Miss World 2002". BBC. 7 December 2002. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  7. ^ Khan, Frank (23 November 2002). "Please come home Lynda, begs mum". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  8. ^ Okande, Austine. "Behold! These are the "Queens of our days"". The Standard. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  9. ^ "Oksana Semenišina: džiaugsmo ieškanti rimtuolė". 15min (in Lithuanian). 29 June 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
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  15. ^ Kabuye, Kalungi (12 August 2002). "Medical Doctor New Miss Uganda". New Vision. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Revels to Compete in Miss World". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. 28 October 2002. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
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  19. ^ "Průšová nejede na Miss Universe". Mladá fronta DNES. 5 February 2003. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
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  21. ^ "Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir kjörin ungfrú Ísland.is". mbl.is. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
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External links